Cloudy and cold. Gusts of wind try on bespoke garments of yellow leaves. The hornets are still flying, tough as the nails in their abdomens.
Bright morning after a cold night. A hornet drops from her nest, hitting the porch floor with an audible tick, then flies unsteadily away.
The air’s so clear I can see gnats 100 feet away—bright motes wandering among the trees. Dead leaves crowd together at the end of the porch.
Cedar waxwings crowd into the tops of the tall locusts, harried by goldfinches. High above, two swifts arc and swoop against the blue.
A fork-tailed bush katydid lands on the bottom railing, looks around, then flies off toward the woods on wings half grass blade, half angel.
The front-porch hornets have dwindled; the new queens must’ve pupated and gone. The remaining workers soldier on like unRaptured Christians.
Clear and cool. A bee-fly hovers over the lip of my cup. Right next to where I sat stargazing last night, a fresh twist of coyote scat.
Blue sky; the scars from early-morning jets heal quickly. A male Carolina wren’s fulsome singing elicits as usual the female’s terse zzzzip!
Under dark clouds, the field full of goldenrod glows in the rising sun’s light like some Viking hoard in an archaeologist’s trench.
Two red-bellied woodpeckers locked in combat tumble out of a locust tree in the yard. Later, two squirrels angrily chase up and down it.
Crystal-clear sky crossed by flocks of goldfinches. Church bells clang the 8 o’clock hour, a sad exultation that once meant time for school.
A monarch butterfly en route to Mexico glides over the house, past the orange leaves on the last living branch of a hollow maple.
Foggy and still, save for the occasional crash-down of a black walnut. The dog I’m sitting noses through the long grass, inhaling deeply.
Out early, I listen to barred owls, watch the pulsing light of a glowworm crossing the walk like a satellite on an exceptionally low orbit.